Thursday, August 18, 2011

What Makes Me So Special?

I've been browsing the job ads on Craig's List to find side projects like I always do. If you ever look in the section with all the seamstresses it's quite overwhelming.

How are you supposed to choose a person to work on your projects? Every range of sewing ability and type is represented from the lady who still mends "by hand or by machine" to the lady who only wants "production sewing (no one-offs)".

It's hard for me to call myself a seamstress sometimes because that's really only part of what I do. Out of all the skills I have, all the things I make and do the thing they all have in common is me. What makes me so special?

I am a young seamstress and one of my biggest challenges is having to convince people that I do indeed know what I am doing. I worked with a very skilled teacher learning basic and complex alterations in a little shop. Before that I was sewing at home on my own making all kinds of things that I needed. Even before that I was reading and reading anything sewing related that I could get my hands on.

I know what kind of seamstress I am and what kind I am not. I've tried and I've tried but I am not a robot; I just can't for the life of me crank out a ton of look-a-likes and not hate my life. I don't know why. I can't do it with card making or chopping vegetables either! It's just not part of my chemical makeup. I've decided it's not worth trying to figure out anymore but instead to see it as a skill. I don't have tunnel vision! Ta da!

I can troubleshoot on the spot. I can figure out how to make something out of nothing. I can lie to myself about my abilities and make things I've never made before. I can think ahead and plan my steps. I can document the lights out of my work so that it can be reproduced. I think that might just be what makes me special.

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